Presentation was made in Orlando by the Florida Sports Foundation
Sarasota County’s Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department recently earned an Excellence in Sports Tourism Award, which was presented at the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) Annual Conference in Orlando, the county has announced.
The honor, accorded by the Florida Sports Foundation (FSF), “recognizes the unparalleled contributions of Florida’s county and municipal parks & recreation departments to sport tourism,” a county news release says.
“This is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of many county staff members, as well as the efforts of our partners and Visit Sarasota County,” said Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Director Carolyn Brown in the release. “We strive every day to create lasting and memorable experiences at our parks. And this award further highlights our efforts to be the premier community where people choose to live, work and play.”
The county department hosted 79 sporting events at its facilities in 2015, bringing in a direct economic impact of more than $33 million to the community, the news release notes. Staff members continue “to work in partnership with the Sarasota County Sports Commission, attract events and host all levels of sport events, thus earning the 2016 Excellence in Sport Tourism Award for the Mid to Large Market category,” the release points out.
More than 150 parks are under the department’s purview. Many of those facilities — including the recently renovated BMX track at the Youth Athletic Complex in Sarasota, Siesta Key Beach and Nathan Benderson Park — attract competitors from around nation and the world, the release adds.
Nathan Benderson Park also recently received the FSF Venue of the Year Award, the release notes.